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Keeping it Real in a Pinterest World: the Capsule Wardrobe goes Traveling

Jenn from A Simple Haven and I are exploring what it means to live purposefully in a world that bombards us with a million good things.  Online, the message seems to be that we can do it all. The truth is we cannot do everything.

We’re two moms on a journey toward being ok with this and fully embracing the season of life that  we’re in–with all of its joys and limitations. 

Once a month,  we’ll share about our crafting fails, what we’re currently saying “yes”  and “no” to, and the beautiful reality of daily life. Will you grab a  warm cup of something and join us?

keeping it real pinterest edit

Last month I talked and talked about a capsule wardrobe, I laid out what I thought my staples would be and I envisioned outfits that would serve me well through the spring and summer season.

I didn’t create a graphic showing you all the different outfits you could create with them because I didn’t have most of the articles of clothing. Since that post I went  shopping with a patient husband and remarkably well-behaved children. I tried on endless white t-shirts trying to find the perfect one.
I flipped through lots of options of maxi skirts, choosing different colours and different sizes before realizing that maybe they’re just not my thing. They’re super cute on other people or in polyvore outfit ensembles but they do nothing for me and so I scratched them off my summer staple list.
I found shorts (jean cutoffs and white shorts, in case you were wondering how that went) and a green t-shirt that I absolutely love. I wore the same outfit three days in a row and only swapped it for yoga pants and a comfy sweater



chambray shirt, skinny jeans for a quiet afternoon at the coffee shop

We’ve been traveling now for a few weeks and making a capsule wardrobe was on the best travel prep things I could have done. When we went shopping, I was focused, looking only at the articles I knew I wanted. And when I shopped my own closet, I purged about half of it realizing I really don’t wear much of it.
The first week of travel was a long drive to Boston, two nights in a hotel and walking around the city, a morning flight across the country to Seattle, an afternoon of playing tourist there. A train ride to Vancouver, BC. A way too short of a visit with some of my extended family. A night with friends and a night with my sister and brother in law. We then spent about a week on my inlaws farm where the girls played in dirt, we walked down gravel roads and marveled at the peaceful fields.
Whew. I get tired just recapping that.
The last thing I had time for or mental energy for was figuring what to wear each day. 

I love, love the fact that everything in my backpack co-ordinates together and it’s just a matter of deciding between the chambray shirt or the striped shirt. I’ll be honest, I wore the same outfit several days in a row because that’s how I roll.

White shorts, green tee for an outing to Boston Public Gardens and walking all over Boston

Here’s my tips for making a capsule wardrobe work for you while traveling (or at home):
  • make a list of your staples/favourites
  • shop for them, start in your closet and then go shopping with a specific list
  • be content with what you have
  • have ways to switch up an outfit – I bought a floral scarf on a whim and I’m so glad I did, it goes with everything yet gives a a different look. Cuff your jeans and wear a cute pair of shoes. Belt a dress with a contrasting colour belt.
  • copy the outfits you love on Pinterest and be brave to step out of your normal comfort zone

That last point was for me. I found this exact shirt dress I had pinned at a Tommy Hilfiger store but when I tried it on, it felt  a little meh. I took the fitting room girl’s advice and tried it with a different belt- instant success. I’m not one to try different belts out and I typically don’t think I want to wear one but a little contrast can give some definition and that instant style kapow.


jean cutoffs, green tee, floral scarf for a day at the zoo and carousel riding


When it all comes down to it, I love the capsule wardrobe (at home and abroad) because the last thing I want to do each day is figure out what I should wear and what would be trendy-mum wear. I want to spend my days living and loving with those around me not fussing over an unpractical shirt.



Are you a belt wearer? Do you copy outfits off Pinterest?






{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Jenn @ A Simple Haven May 28, 2014, 4:01 pm

    I’m so inspired to par down my pack list for our summer trip! 🙂 I like the idea of using accessories to mix up basics.
    I never really use Pinterest for outfit stuff, but I think I’d like to try…

    • thisvintagemoment May 28, 2014, 7:02 pm

      This was my first time really using Pinterest and it’s been fine plus I feel more pulled together and grownup in my outfits. 😉

  • Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout May 28, 2014, 4:41 pm

    I love the concept of a capsule wardrobe. I am practically there already, as my wardrobe is pretty minimalist, but I have a lot of pieces that don’t really go together. Did I find the link to the Un-Fancy blog from you? If not, you should check it out, it’s basically a blog about a capsule wardrobe. I like how she picks a few key colors and organizes her wardrobe around that theme each season, so everything coordinates.

    • thisvintagemoment May 28, 2014, 7:03 pm

      Yes, I love UnFancy! I haven’t ever picked a deliberate theme but I’m trying this year to stick to a few colours and then branch out with more colours then I normally wear. I gravitate towards neutrals. 😉

  • Allie @ Days Like These May 28, 2014, 11:28 pm

    You’ve inspired me for our trip to visit family this July. Though it is nice that we are flying Southwest (free bags!) and staying with family (Laundry!) so I don’t have to pare down quite so much. Gotta love white shorts in the summer—they go with everything.

    • thisvintagemoment May 30, 2014, 12:46 am

      Yay for a fellow white short lover! =) They’re super versatile and make a simple outfit seem more grown up. And free bags? That’s fantastic.

  • Joy May 29, 2014, 3:35 pm

    Oh, this is so inspirational!
    Good for you for ditching the maxi skirt! It’s a good reminder to me. I mean, I love maxi skirts but I often fall into the trap of trying to make someone else’s staples my own!
    Also, I’m all over wearing the same outfit over and over again. I remember you posting awhile back about your “uniform” that you often wear. I totally have a uniform, and it makes me happy to know that there are those certain pieces or outfits that just work! It makes life much, much easier.
    I hope you find some time for some real rest and refreshment in the midst of all these adventures, little momma! 🙂

    • thisvintagemoment May 30, 2014, 12:49 am

      Yes, it’s so freeing making stuff our own rather then feeling uncomfortable in someone else’s idea. =) We’re finding some pockets of rest, at my parents’ now which is lovely and refreshing. =)

  • Rachel Friesen May 29, 2014, 5:37 pm

    I was disappointed by maxi skirts too; I thought they’d be a cool flowing look, but every one I tried on clung in all the wrong places. Capris leggings, on the other hand, were a fabulous find for all these no-quite-summer days we keep having. Hopefully my sundresses will spend more days out with my leggings, and less time in my closet!

    • thisvintagemoment May 30, 2014, 12:50 am

      Glad it’s not just me who doesn’t love maxi skirts. =) Capri leggings sound brilliant, I’ve also added my scarf on cool days to add another layer of warmth. =)

  • Natalie May 31, 2014, 1:28 am

    Oh my! I am just going through my wardrobe. Love that quote: “I want to spend my life living and loving with those around me not fussing over an impractical shirt.” That’s great! 😀

    • thisvintagemoment May 31, 2014, 2:38 pm

      Here’s to more freedom and less fussing over wardrobes! =) XO

  • Deb Harris August 29, 2014, 1:11 pm

    I love this idea. I have fibromyalgia & a lot of ” real clothes” aren’t comfortable for me. I wear them when I have to then change quickly. I find myself wearing just a few comfortable outfits most of the time. The problem is I don’t like them much they’re just comfortable. It’s time to find a few things that look good & are comfortable. I would like to feel good wearing them. This was a great post. Thank you. I am subscribed to A Simple Haven which brought me to you. I’ve tried several times to subscribe but it hasn’t gone through. (It may be me my iphone does this sometimes) just wondering if you have any way from your end. Otherwise I’ll follow the link then read your other posts. Thanks

    • thisvintagemoment August 29, 2014, 10:57 pm

      Hey Deb, thanks so much for stopping by and for making the time to leave a comment. I haven’t had other issues with people subscribing (that I know of!), so sorry it’s been a bugger for you.

      Here’s to more clothes that are comfortable and look and feel good! I have a dear friend with fibromyalgia and she often runs into the same issue with comfy vs real clothes.

  • dolores August 29, 2014, 8:47 pm

    LOVE YOUR BLOG……PLEASE SEND ME UPDATES @ pdurato@yahoo.com……blessings……..dee

    • thisvintagemoment August 29, 2014, 10:57 pm

      Hi Dolores,

      You should be able to subscribe under the Subscribe button on the top header. =)

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